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Taste of Spring

Our Annual Gala: Thursday, May 4th

Taste of Spring is our annual gala fundraiser. This is our 14th year, and we're moving the event to the beautiful and historic California Ballroom in Downtown Oakland (1736 Franklin Street). A stone's throw from City Hall, this art deco gem was built in the 1920s and recently renovated. It served as the ballroom for the adjacent Leamington Hotel (where Amelia Earhart had her offices!) The event is on Thursday, May 4th at 5:30 pm. Like the past five years, this event will sell out!

We will be featuring exciting silent and live auction items, live local entertainment, gourmet food by Red Door, and hosted beer and wine. Proceeds go toward furthering our mission of helping Oakland kids, and making our parks better.

Taste of Spring has been nominated by Oakland Magazine for Best Charitable Event, and the caterer for event, Red Door Catering, has been nominated, too!  


We will be featuring youth dancers from the East Oakland Sports Complex, as well as Oakland-based artist and acrobat Nikki Borodi, seen below, who combines music and athleticism to provide an ethereal experience. The event will be emceed by KTVU news anchor Frank Mallicoat.

Recipients of the Anne Woodell Community Award

Rue Mapp, Outdoor Afro

Rue is the Founder of Outdoor Afro, and oversees a carefully selected and trained national volunteer leadership team of 62 men and women who represent 28 states around the US. Originally beginning in 2009 as a blog, Rue has since captured the attention and imagination of millions through a multi-media approach, grounded in personal connections and community organizing. From its grassroots beginning, now Outdoor Afro enjoys national sponsorship and is recognized by major organizations for the importance of diversity in the outdoors.

In 2010, Mapp was invited to the White House to participate in the America’s Great Outdoors Conference, and subsequently to take part in a think tank to inform the launch of First Lady Michelle Obama's “Let’s Move” initiative. She was appointed program officer for the Stewardship Council’s Foundation for Youth Investment to oversee its grant-making program from 2010-2012. Click here for more infomation on Rue Mapp.

Stan Dodson, Oakland Trails

Stan founded Oakland Trails as a committee of the Dimond Improvement Association 2010. With a group of volunteers, Stan led several trail maintenance projects to rehabilitate Dimond Canyon’s trail system, and in 2011, began a series of hiking tours to promote it. He then joined Friends of Joaquin Miller Park as an at-large board member. Leading projects for both organizations, Stan concentrated his efforts on promoting and maintaining more than 600 acres of parkland that connect Dimond Park to the Bay Area Ridge Trail (1500+ feet elevation). Stan is also the founder of the Oakland Volunteer Park Patrol. The Patrol clears trails and assists visitors to Joaquin Miller, Diamond Canyon, and Leona Canyon Parks, and just recently logged its 2,000 hour of volunteer work! He also produced the documentary Trailhead, about the Dimond Canyon project. Click here for more information on Stan Dodson.

Barry Weiss, Past President of the Foundation

Former President of the Board Barry Weiss, unexpectedly passed away on July 2, 2016. Barry shepherded the merger of the former Friends organization with the Oakland Parks Coalition, to make this stronger Foundation. He also served Oakland's parks and recreation department for many years. Barry was a tireless advocate for Oakland's parks and children. His kindness, warmth and intelligent spirit will be sorely missed by everyone at the Foundation, OPR, and these communities he selflessly served for decades. At the request of Barry's family, we have established the Barry Weiss Memorial Scholarship Fund. The fund will help children from all across Oakland, so they can enroll in the many programs and camps offered at the City's recreation centers.

Event Sponsors

Sponsorship opportunities are still available! Contact us for more information.

Presenting Sponsor

Pacific Gas and Electric Co.


Patron Sponsor

Donahue Fitzgerald LLP


Supporting Sponsors

Corrigan Sports

Big Wave Media

Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.

McGuire & Hester


Friend Sponsors


Bridge Bank

F/T Family Trust

Kazan Law

McConnell Group

Nonprofit Suite

Oakland A's Community Fund

RDH Building Science

Roberts Electric

Ruth Stroup Insurance Agency

Schnitzer Steel

W.A. Rose Construction

In-Kind Auction and Event Donations 

Event Donations:

Quality beer from Drake's Brewing Company. Appetizers by the Terrace Room. Fine wine donated by a local, anonymous company.


Auction donations (as of 4/18/17): 

Food and Drink

Albatross Pub, Aunt Mary's Cafe, Berkeley Bowl, Bette's Oceanview Diner, Buttercup Bar and Grill, Cafe Sarafornia, Canvas & Cabernet, C'era Una Volta, Cheese Steak Shop, Corso Trattoria, Dashe Cellar, Faction Brewing, Farley's Coffee, Farm Burger, Grand Lake Kitchen, Habit Burger Grill, Harris Restaurant, Kakui Sushi, La Farine Bakery, La Mediteranee Restaurant, Lalime's Restaurant, La Note Restaurant, Lin Jia Asian Kitchen, Livermore Wine Trolley, Mariposa Baking Company, Melting Pot, Millennium, Monterey Market, Mua Restaurant and Bar, Oaktown Spice Shop, Peju Province Winery, Picante Cocina Mexicana, Powell's Sweet Shoppe, Rick and Ann's Restaurant, Rivoli Restaurant, Rosenblum Cellars, Semifreddi's Bakery, Smitten Ice Cream, Sojourn Cellars, St. George Spirits, Sonoma Valley Portworks, VJB Vineyards & Cellars, Yoshi's Restaurant.

Education and the Arts

Alameda Ballet Academy, Berkeley Ironworks, Berkeley Playhouse, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, Blackhawk Museum, Books Inc., California Academy of Sciences, California Shakespeare Theater, Cave and Mine Adventures: Moaning Cavern, Children's Fairyland, Commonwealth Club of California, The Crucible, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, The Exploratorium, Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse, Lawrence Hall of Science, Michael Merril Design Studio, Mrs. Dalloway's Bookstore, New Parkway Theater, Oakland Symphony, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Producer's Associates Inc., Reading Connection, RIDE Oakland, San Francisco Symphony, Smuin Ballet, U.C. Botanical Garden, Woodminster Summer Musicals.

Sports and Fitness

Albany Bowl, Adventure Cat and Sailing, Bear Valley Cross Country, Bladium Sports and Fitness Club, Boundary Oak Golf Course, Breema Clinic, California Canoe and Kayak, Lake Chabot Golf Course, Lake Merritt Boating Center, Metropolitan Golf Links, Oakland Hills Tennis Club, Oakland Ice Center, Piedmont Spa, RIDE Oakland, Scandia Family Center, Sonoma Raceway, Tahoe Donner Ski Resort.

Travel and Leisure

Alcatraz Cruises, Bear Valley Snowmobile, Little River Inn, Red & White Fleet, Children's Fairyland.

Home, Garden, Jewelry

Atomic Garden, East Bay Nursery, Esqueleto, Grand Lake Ace Hardware and Garden, Heller Jewelers, Knible Oakland, Pave Fine Jewelry Design, Pet Food Express, Phillipa Roberts, Ruby's Garden, Sonoma Potworks.


Live Auction Items

(Confirmed live auction items, more to come)

Autographed Steph Curry Basketball

This is a must have for any Warriors fan. A Golden State Warriors basketball signed by No. 30 Steph Curry. Perfect for your man cave, game room or even your coffee table centerpiece. Certificate of Authenticity is included and it comes in a display case.

Donor: Golden State Warriors


Cool Caribbean Cuisine at the Thompson-Bliss Compound!

A private Caribbean Cuisine feast dinner party for 6 at the historic Morse House, an Oakland City Landmark, hosted by authentic Caribbean-American Kim Thompson and her husband, Foundation President John Bliss. A Real West Indian Fete! Huge helpings of Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Trinidadian Curry and Roti, Guyanese Pepper Pot, cook-up rice, and Bajan fried plantains, and plenty of rum drinks! for all! Date and time to be mutually determined by winner and hosts.

Donor: Kim Thompson and John Bliss


San Francisco Giants Pitcher Matt Cain - Autographed Ball

Giant’s fans this one is for you.  Take home this autographed Matt Cain ball.  It comes professionally displayed.  It will be the perfect addition to your man cave, office, or if your significant other will allow; the family room.

Value: Priceless

Donor:  San Francisco Giants  Community Fund


Luxury Condo in Los Cabos, Mexico

Are you in need of a week away? If yes, we have the picture perfect destination on the Sea of Cortez in Los Cabos. Enjoy a seven-night stay at the world-class resort Grand Mayan in Los Cabos. This package includes a 2-bedroom master suite that can accommodate up to six adults and two children under the age of 12. This 1,249 square foot air conditioned suite includes a fully equipped kitchen allowing you to cook using local ingredients, a spacious balcony with a private cooling pool, and twice daily maid service. Within the resort there is a concierge service, 24-hour babysitting, a health spa and fitness center and a 9-hole golf course. There are no travel restrictions or black-out dates, your stay is based on availability and travel must conclude by May 8, 2018.

Donated by: Tom Guarino


Behind the Scenes Tour with Glynn Washington

Did anyone tell you that you have a “radio voice” and should consider a audio career? It’s not too late! Join Oakland Dad and WNYC / NPR Snap Judgment Host & Executive Producer Glynn Washington (and his Snap Judgment crew) for an unforgettable afternoon of storytelling -- including lunch with the Snap gang and a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to produce the nation's hottest radio show. 

Snap Judgment airs weekly on over 400 public radio stations nationwide -- and is downloaded over two million times every month. Snap’s innovative and fast-paced “Storytelling with a beat” takes audiences on an audio rollercoaster, dropping listeners into the heart of the story. Ira Glass called it, “Amazing! Like a distant cousin of 'This American Life' that grew up in a much wilder neighborhood.”

You may even have your voice heard by over a million "Snappas" by reading a line in a story or even the closing credit . . . only if you are the winning bidder of this amazing event!

Limitations:  To be scheduled on a mutually agreeable date between May 13th, 2017 through June 30, 2018. The producers of Snap Judgment will determine the nature and limitations of on-air participation. 

Donor: Glynn Washington and Annie Campbell-Washington